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Recommend your favorite products and services on LinkedIn Company Pages (via The LinkedIn Blog)

Thought this was interesting to share about showcasing products on LinkedIn, considering my last blog post, thanks Charlie

Recommend your favorite products and services on LinkedIn Company Pages We are glad to provide companies a place on LinkedIn to showcase their products, services and associated recommendations. Company Pages will enable companies to build their brand through network-aware recommendations, giving members rich, credible insights into how any given product (or service) is perceived by their fellow professionals. We're starting today with over 40 companies who now have their "Products and Services" tab enabled on their C … Read More

via The LinkedIn Blog

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Starting the conversation in a professional environment. (via CharlieRobinson Says)

Charlie’s tips for engaging in a professional corporate environment… what experiences have you personally had (if this is your space too) and/or what other advise would you suggest?

One of the areas that I specialise in or rather focus on for social media, is of course corporate. Why? Well, I have been employed by many and had to play by the rules within many and so, in the main I understand the limitations and risks they work within. Some are easier than others. Many corporate bodies remain risk adverse, however many staff still wish to maintain a relationship and been seen – in a professional light – promoting their produc … Read More

via CharlieRobinson Says

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Charlies trends for Christmas and beyond (via CharlieDesign – Let’s Engage Socially) (via CharlieRobinson Says)

The list has been derived from conversations with a raft of people over these past four or five years of observations and where I see it all heading….

i cant stress this too much – i have a voice, i want to be heard, i love my friends and i have a mechanism. now i have to learn the rules and be a good girl. trend number whatever – isnt that right folks? here's my proper version: Firstly, me writing a trends list is a new trend. The list has been derived from conversations with a raft of people over these past four or five years of observations and where I see it all heading…. Secondly the tre … Read More

via CharlieRobinson Says

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Work/Project Focus:: Contract Adelaide (via CharlieDesign – Let’s Engage Socially)

November 23, 2010 1 comment

Not everyone likes what you say, and yet sometimes it needs to be said. And sometimes projects (and project managers) need to be strong and take a step back, accept feedback, regroup and grow stronger from the experience. This is one scenario where challenging situations can be handled, and reaffirmed my belief that a strong commitment to a belief, not bowing to popular demand will produce quality results.

Are you a strong manager in a scenario like this or do you buckle to popularity? Being the best doesnt always mean everyone is going to love you. If you have the vision and you are the expert, stay true. You will be the one they follow in the end.

Contract Adelaide   Communication Consultant   charliedesign was hired to provide expert assistance with an internal communications campaign for the implementation of a companywide software upgrade. the overall project’s goal was to change the day to day life of all staff. The initial strategy suggestion was to introduce social networking philosophies and branded marketing messages. On introduction and initial analysis, charliedesign as … Read More

via CharlieDesign – Let's Engage Socially

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Hung Parliaments, Branding and Special K with Forest Berries

November 11, 2010 1 comment

I went to Woolworths recently to pick up some groceries and had a marketing epiphany.

I had decided it was time to restock on some Special K with forest berries and discovered that Woolies does not stock that flavour of Special K. So, without hesitation, I put the few items already selected back on the shelf and trotted to Coles at the other end of our local shopping mall.

There was no pang of guilt or remorse in leaving Woolies behind. In fact, it was a simple decision. Neither of the lame, empty positioning statements of the two multinationals counted for anything during this decision process. All that mattered was that despite having 99% identical products on offer, I needed something in the 1% and that was a deal breaker.

I think Australia has just demonstrated the same lesson in marketing to our major political parties. Let me explain.

Supermarkets own “bland” branding

The reason Coles and Woolworths lack the diehard followers who would cross town to shop with them is that almost everything they offer is identical, it is offered in an identical way and few of us sense any value in their offerings. For example, Woolies’ Fresh Food People line, despite all the advertising, means nothing to me when I visit the store and see their bananas are all solid green or brown and bruised, or their punnets of tomatoes include some going mouldy (which happens often there and at Coles). Meanwhile, Quality food costs less at Coles is a meaningless line because the difference is typically only a few cents and Woolworths often discounts the things on my list.

So we are left with shoppers going wherever is closest or on the most convenient route for multitasking a journey. I am sure a few still follow the folly of driving to three different supermarkets chasing a few cents discount while burning more money up in their cars than they save at the till. These latter shoppers might represent radically-swinging voters.

How does this translate to political marketing? Quite directly, I believe.

Me too marketing can be a shortcut to a slow death

Despite having different advertisements, Australia’s major political parties paid the price for taking a “me too” line in the recent election campaign. Just like Coles and Woolies leave us underwhelmed when pushing Coke specials (because we know that other one will have similar offers around identical brands), so too did the parties work hard to make the same basket of goodies sound unique. Incredibly, a Liberal party pushed a Labor industrial relations policy and a Labor party sounded just like the previous Liberal government on the issue of immigration.

So, just like with supermarkets, when both party leaders sound the same, consumers can easily and lightly shift their brains into neutral or go with “the other one” if they are promising a more finely-tuned policy close to a voter’s heart with no fear that the consequences will be dire. A number of Liberal voters I have conversed with, felt safe voting Labour on the strength of the National Broadband Network because they discerned little to worry about in having the “reds” take power because they were only a “very faint red”  these days! Likewise, some Labour voters I conversed with were planning to vote Liberal after hearing the Liberal party’s Murray River policy. Again, these stripe-changing positions would be unheard of in an environment where the two parties actually stood for something different and substantial.

Parties, and marketers, do themselves a disservice when they try to be bland, one-size-fits-all options.

I can’t get passionate about either major party, nor can I get passionate about either of the large supermarket chains.

The question is, can people realistically become passionate about your company, your brand, your product, you?

What are you doing that sets you apart from the pack with an offering that is likely to resonate deeply, very deeply, with members of your target market?

What are YOUR forest berries?